18 December 2007

Goodbye, Daddy Gene

I guess 2007 just wasn't quite done with me: My grandfather died last night.

Daddy Gene was 88 (89?). He had a stroke about six years ago that had rendered him mentally and physically fragile, but before that he was a vibrant world traveler. Shortly before his stroke, he and my grandmother had visited Portugal, the last European country he needed to check off his list. I'm so glad he made it there.

I never lived close to my grandparents. They were in their native Missouri when I was small, then they realized their dream of retiring to Florida. Despite the physical distance and fairly infrequent chances to visit, I always felt a bond with Daddy Gene. We shared the travel bug, and he loved languages and music, too, which are passions that made their way through the gene pool to me. We're not a traveling, multilingual, or musical family in general, so I always felt like those things gave us a special link. We both loved school, too. Daddy Gene and my grandmother, Mama Doris, were both big believers in education and continued their schooling throughout their lives. I remember Daddy Gene taking classes at the University of Tampa for many years once he and Mama Doris had settled there, and the two of them took a number of Elderhostel trips in their golden years.

Daddy Gene and Mama Doris were high school sweethearts and were married for over sixty years. They raised four boys and watched one die of leukemia. They shared hobbies but had their own interests, too. They were always respectful and polite to each other, at least in front of others. They made being married look easy, and fun.

Daddy Gene was not perfect. Who is? But he was full of qualities to admire and respect and love. The last time I saw him was over a year ago. The twins were two months old. My dad, John, and I took the kids down to Florida to meet their great-grandparents. Daddy Gene was living in a private home care setting, and Mama Doris was still in their Tampa home. I was so tired. I remember being so exhausted one night that I thought I was going to throw up. But that trip was worth it. Daddy Gene loved seeing the babies. "Maddie beautiful," he said, although he could barely speak. We have some great pictures from that trip, and good memories.

I miss you, Daddy Gene. You always used to say, "Wherever you go, there you are." Wherever you are now, I hope you find John. You two didn't get to know each other very well, and I think you'd like each other a lot.

57 comments:

Christine said...

I'm so sorry, Snick. That's all there is to say. I do hope John and Daddy Gene find each other in the great ethereal.

Kizz said...

Oh damn this season. I'm so sorry.

amber said...

i'm so very sorry. everyone i know is ready for '07 to be done already. it's been a rough year, to say the least. {{hugs}}

Liz said...

I'm so sorry. Perhaps this is the universes'(sp) way of ending 2007, and not starting 2008 off on a sad note.
Take care, and remember the memories that you have.

Yankee T said...

Enough is enough already. I'm so sorry, Snick. I'm sure he and John are sharing a laugh right now.
Sending hugs.

I am Chorus said...

Adding my voice to the sorrow about this news.

mar said...

Such sad news, so lovingly conveyed. I'm sorry for your loss.

halfmama said...

I'm so, so sorry. Daddy Gene sounds like an incredible man who lived a full life and appreciated every moment of it.

Hugs to you and your family.

kim said...

Sending our thoughts your way today...

carole said...

i know i don't know you, but i can't believe this has happened to you. i agree with the theory that this is the universe's way of slamming the effin' door on 2007 and not having 2008 open up on the note of a sad event.

my heart goes out to you and your family.
--carole
http://versionfourpointoh.wordpress.com

Rev Dr Mom said...

Oh, Snick, I am so sorry. Daddy Gene sounds like he was a wonderful grandfather. I'm glad he got to meet the twins even briefly.

Hugs.

bold said...

Oh fer pete's sake. Enough already, universe.

Big hug.

Bn'B

MetroDad said...

Deepest condolences for your loss. I'm so sorry for the year you've had. May 2008 bring you much health and happiness.

Menita said...

Oh man. I am so sorry, Snick.

Indie Mama said...

so so sorry.

bg's Little Sis said...

Hard hugs Snick, hang in there baby, we love you bunches and are sending you good thoughts.

-lil'sis

Jennifer said...

So sorry to hear of your loss. Here's hoping for a 2008 filled with as much joy and laughter as your heart can hold.

django's mommy said...

Oh Snick. I'm so very sorry.

Crimson Rambler said...

There is this, Snick, you'll be able to tell the twins that their great-grandparents saw them and loved them, and that's "not nothing." But I AM sorry.

Arwen said...

I'm so sorry Snick. It is so unfair. {{{hug}}}

liz said...

I'm so very sorry.

Jane said...

Oh Snickollet - I am so sorry.

elle-78 (diaryland) said...

I am so sorry your Grandfather passed away. I read your blog a lot and am very touched by it. I haven't commented before, but today I have to comment because...my maternal grandfather's name is Gene...my maternal grandother's name is Doris...and my husband's first name is John (although he goes by Matt)...I felt this is a sign (maybe a very lame one) that I should finally stop lurking and actually say hello.

Anonymous said...

speechless. i'm speechless and so sorry. with love, tree town gal

Jody said...

I'm so, so sorry. Hang in there. Thinking of you...

Anonymous said...

Oh, Snick, I'm so sorry. I'm glad you got to have Daddy Gene in your life. What a gift for him to have met his beautiful great grandchildren.

Big hugs to you.

Kathleen

Sunny said...

I am so sorry.

comebacknikki said...

I'm so sorry.

Jenn said...

I'm so sorry :(

spare teeth said...

I'm sorry, Snickollet, really sorry. You paint a lovely picture of him.

Jan said...

Wow, Snick, I just can't believe you've been dealt another loss. I'm so, so sorry.

Anonymous said...

I lost my grandfather in October, and it has been a constant struggle. We only lived about fifty miles away, so I had the opportunity to see him frequently and get quite close.

I'm praying 2008 gives you a fresh, beautiful start.

-A

Anonymous said...

Daddy Gene sounded like a fine man with an interesting and long life. Doesn't make saying goodbye to him any easier though.

Elizabeth said...

Oh. So sorry.
You brought tears to my eyes.
Here's to a better year in 2008.

buddha_girl said...

Let this be the end of 2007 hell for you, Snick.

Emmie (Better Make It A Double) said...

A beautiful tribute, Snick, but I'm so sorry.

D said...

I am mostly a lurker, but wanted to come out of "hiding" to offer my condolences. I am with Liz... 2008 WILL be better, damn it.

Anonymous said...

you are in my prayers.

xoxo

Anonymous said...

Oh, sigh. I'm sorry Snick.

Jill

twinklelittlestar said...

Oh, I'm so sorry. Lovely tribute to him.

Snick, 2008 has just GOT to be a better year for you. I just know it. Its only days away.

peach said...

I am sorry to hear of the loss of your Grandfather, There is a season for all things and heres to praying that 2008 is your season of joy!
Huge cyber hugs to you and a kiss to the babies they are so beautiful and blessed/ blessings.
Peach

Kathryn said...

Oh, I am so sorry...what a ghastly year. But glad that you've such warm and wonderful memories and the huge fund of courage that you do.
Love and hopes for a bright New Year

kellygreent said...

I'm so sorry Snick. I can't wait for '07 to be over. First I lost my father and then last week we lost my precious baby nephew.

glove said...

A beautiful tribute.

Here's hoping they found each other and are watching their beloveds' lives on a tv screen, sharing movie snacks and stories about you all, happy that there will be many years until you join them.

Anonymous said...

It's not easy to lose a loved one, even if that person was graced with fullness of years. Even when it's 'time.' But, how wonderful for John that he now has Daddy Gene to tell him all about what his beloved Snick as like as a little girl.

Robin J. said...

"Wherever you go, there you are." What an awesome thought to live by. So sorry for your loss ..

B.E.C.K. said...

I'm so sorry about your Daddy Gene. *hug*

meg said...

I'm very sorry for another loss, for you. My grandfather and uncle died the same year (within a couple of months), that my twins did. Not a good year, to say the least.

Jolene said...

I'm so sorry..my sincerest condolences to you and your entire family. Married for over sixty years...wow. That just brings tears to my eyes. That's true love. I'm sure Daddy Gene found his way to John and now, they are both watching over you and the twins.

Roni said...

He sounds like he was a wonderful man. I'm so sorry. I hope he and your husband find each other.

Rachel said...

I'm so sorry. He sounds like an amazing man, and I know you will miss him greatly.

Keen said...

A beautiful post about Daddy Gene. Thanks for sharing that. And thank God 2007 is almost over.

Nanette said...

I'm sorry for your loss.

OTRgirl said...

What a beautiful tribute.

As has been said, I'm sorry for your loss.

My beloved (funny, cute, inquisitive, energetic)grandfather died three months after my Mom. It just added to the fun whammy of that year. Ugh.

Julia said...

Oh, I am so sorry I missed this.
I can tell the tenderness you feel for your grandfather through this lovely description of him, and I am very sorry he is gone.
This is, indeed, a shit year. I am sorry.

Melany aka Supermom said...

I am so sorry for your loss

Angela said...

I am so very sorry for your loss. You know that he and John are with each other. Sending you many hugs and good thoughts, please take care.